The Handmaid's Tale is officially halfway through its fourth season, and the first five episodes of Season 4 have given way to plenty of fan theories. Wednesday's all-new episode "Chicago" now has fans believing that one major plot point from The Testaments is playing out that could completely change the way we view one key character. Warning: This story contains major spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale Season 4, Episode 5, "Chicago."
A sequel to Margaret to Atwood's best-selling 1985 dystopian novel, The Testaments picks up 15 years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, with none other than Aunt Lydia serving as one of three narrators in the novel. In The Testaments, Aunt Lydia records the story of her rise to power in a manuscript known as "The Ardua Hall Holograph," and it is revealed that while she does what she has to do to stay alive, she uses her power within Gilead to plot the regime's downfall. Although Aunt Lydia has largely been viewed as an antagonist throughout the Hulu original series, the newest episode had some fans believing Aunt Lydia from The Testaments is beginning to shine through.
In "Chicago," Aunt Lydia is seen blackmailing Commander Joseph Lawrence to get reinstated as an Aunt, eventually entering into an agreement to work with the Commander under the table on the condition she gets to discipline June if she is captured. At the end of the episode, she is seen orienting a new group of Handmaids, telling them that they will be tested by men, will never walk alone, and she will always be on their side. On Reddit, several fans said her scenes throughout the episode left them believing she "is flipping on Gilead" and stating her "true allegiance becomes very clear by the end of this episode."
"My guess is that she is going to start working with some of these new handmaids, (and if Janine ever comes back with her also), to secretly help them go against Gilead. But she will have to do so carefully, without blowing their (and her) cover, which means continuing her work as an aunt while wielding her new power over the Council," one viewer theorized, with another sharing, "I noticed that Lydia used the word testaments in this episode when attempting to blackmail Lawrence. Definitely felt the phrasing here alluded to Lydia's diary in the Testaments. She already is showing that she keeps records of all the shit going on around her."
Several other viewers believed her speech to the Handmaids at the end of the episode was a telltale sign of The Testaments plot point, with one person writing that "the dialogue Aunt Lydia used with the Handmaids in this episode was very, very telling." That person noted that "she told them THEY would be tested by wicked men, men who would try to tempt them. And Aunt Lydia would be there for the Handmaids to listen. They will never walk alone." In doing so, she "implicitly letting them know that it's 'you (Handmaids) vs them (the men)' and that Lydia, at least, is on the Handmaids' side."
While many saw these ties to her The Testaments counterpart, some suggested the show may take a different route and have Lydia join Mayday, the secret resistance group working to bring down Gilead. One such theorizer said Aunt Lydia could join the resistance in an "effort to redeem herself not just to herself but to the Handmaids that were in her care."
The currently airing fourth season is slated to consist of a total of 10 episodes, meaning there are now just five episodes left. The season is set to end on June 16. Fans can catch the remaining episodes, as well as all past episodes, of The Handmaid's Tale when they arrive on Hulu, which you can sign up for here, on Wednesdays. Stay tuned to PopCulture for all the latest updates!